Soul Mates and Second Bests

I'm sure most of you are familiar with the concept of soul mates - two people who, across the vast expanses of space and time, meet, fall in love and spend the rest of their lives together. They are united in love especially because for each one, the other is the most special person in the universe.

It's a very captivating idea, especially because most people want to feel that they are the most important person to someone else. So it's no surprise that it's an idea that has sold a ton of songs, books and movies.

Now I think it would be great if the only couples who ever got together were soul mates. But in reality, not everyone gets to meet someone who thinks they are that most special person. Sometimes, they're in the wrong place, or they're searching at the wrong time. Sometimes, they're just too different from anyone else to find the person who will love them right back.

But sometimes, they will meet a person who thinks they're special all right, and who is ready to spend their life with the soul-mate seeker. The problem is that this person *doesn't* think that the soul mate seeker is the most special person in the universe, because there's someone else they are carrying a torch for.

I can imagine that most people would be repelled at the thought of being together with such a person. How secure would you feel, not knowing whether they would throw you over once the obstacle that was stopping them hooking up with their real soul-mate was out of the way? Even if their real soul mate was out of the picture, it wouldn't be very flattering to be the subject of comparison.

But personally, I don't think it's as bad as it sounds. Maybe it's because in the first place, I'm not a paid up believer in the 'soul-mate' theory that says that there's just this one special person for you, and nobody else. I think that the extent to which we love someone can grow, depending how much effort we're prepared to invest in the relationship.

So even if the person may not *presently* love you as much as they loves someone else, if you are assured that they *do* love you, and they love you enough to want to spend the rest of their life with you, then it's possible that in the fullness of time, both of you will come to be the number one person in each other's lives. (Hint: if the person is constantly making comparisons between you and their soul-mate, that's a big clue that they probably don't love you anyway.)

But I'd be interested in to hear what you think. Would you consider being with someone if you *knew* that there was someone else they loved more than you, even if they never made any mention of it, and even if you were strongly attracted to them?